Planting a Church...in a PANDEMIC????
How do you plant a church in a pandemic?
We've been spending the year trying to navigate these interesting waters and answer that very question. With new spikes of COVID in our area that has people more worried than ever, some might even call into question whether this is an activity that should be happening at all. As we seek to continue to get the word out about our Bible Study group we desire to keep everyone healthy and safe, but the things that motivated us to begin this journey pre-covid remain true and are perhaps more pertinent than ever. Here are just a few reasons why this task must move forward:The Gospel must still be proclaimed. In a day when more people may be aware of the fragility of their own life than ever before, we must step forward and boldly proclaim the excellencies of Jesus Christ, the God-Man who took on flesh, lived a life without sin, and yet died the death of the worst of sinners. In His death He endured the wrath of God for our sins, and yet rose again from the dead, conquering sin and death! He now offers the free gift of eternal life and a right relationship with the Father to all who will turn from their sin and place their faith in Jesus Christ alone for salvation.
People still need to be nourished from the Word of God. This has always been true, but this truth may be more evident now than it has ever been. From the political realm to issues surrounding the virus to the constant bombardment from the world in various areas of immorality, there are a multiplicity of opportunities to have our minds taken away from the solid rock of Jesus Christ and His Word. As the world continually seeks to bring us into conformity with it and its evil systems (1 John 2:15-17), we must continually renew our minds with the precious Word of God (Rom 12:1-2).
People still need the love, care, and fellowship of other believers. We were created to be in community. The Scriptures constantly bear witness that the lives of believers are bound up in one another. The local body of Christ was designed to be a community that gathers and engages one another in various activities for edification. How can we build one another up if we are not first fellowshipping with one another (1 Thess 5:11; Eph 4:11-16, 29)? How can we stir one another to love and good deeds if we have neglected the assembling of ourselves together (Heb 10:24-25)? How do we "[address] one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs" (Eph 5:19) if we are not within earshot? We were not designed to be lone-ranger Christians, going through life without the accountability of a local body. God made His church to be one that lives, loves, cares for, and builds up one another. Are there times when it is wise to refrain from gathering? Absolutely! But we need to approach those times with biblical wisdom and not hide behind excuses, recognizing that such times come with their own levels of spiritual risk.